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Microsoft and Qualcomm to develop custom AR chips for the metaverse

The two companies are looking to expand and accelerate the adoption of AR and Microsoft Mesh

Microsoft and Qualcomm are set to collaborate to expand and accelerate the adoption of augmented reality (AR) for the metaverse in both the consumer and enterprise sector, including developing custom AR chips.

The companies stated they were believers in the metaverse and intend to work together across several initiatives to drive the ecosystem. This includes developing custom AR chips to enable a new wave of power-efficient, lightweight AR glasses to deliver rich and immersive experiences.

Microsoft and Qualcomm also plan to integrate software like Microsoft Mesh and Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform. They hope the collaboration will create transformative experiences for the next generation of head-worn AR devices in the metaverse.

“Our goal is to inspire and empower others to collectively work to develop the metaverse future – a future that is grounded in trust and innovation,” said Rubén Caballero, corporate vice president of Mixed Reality at Microsoft.

“With services like Microsoft Mesh, we are committed to delivering the safest and most comprehensive set of capabilities to power metaverses that blend the physical and digital worlds, ultimately delivering a shared sense of presence across devices.”

Hugo Swart, vice president and general manager of extended reality (XR) at Qualcomm added that the collaboration reflects the next step in both companies’ shared commitment to XR and the metaverse. Swart said Qualcomm’s core XR strategy has always been delivering the most cutting-edge technology, purpose-built XR chipsets, and enabling the ecosystem with its software platforms and hardware reference designs.

At the start of November, Microsoft launched Mesh for Microsoft Teams, its pitch for the metaverse. It aims to make remote and hybrid meetings more immersive and is set to roll out in 2022. It is a mixed reality service that allows people in different physical locations to join collaborative and shared holographic environments within Microsoft Teams to allow for chats, virtual meetings, and the sharing of documents and more.

This came after Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s name change and its renewed focus on the metaverse. He said the metaverse would feel like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world to allow people to share immersive experiences, even when you can’t be together. The CEO added that it will be a more immersive social media experience, where virtual and augmented reality will take centre stage.

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